IMF Australia to Pay for More Than 10 Class Actions against Australian Banks

IMF Australia to Pay for More Than 10 Class Actions against Australian BanksAustralian litigation funder IMF Australia, in a bid to claim back penalty and late fees for the last six years, would pay for more than 10 class actions against Australian banks including the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank, revealed the Sydney Morning Herald.

IMF Australia alleges that the exception fees have been out of proportion to the costs incurred by the Australian banks. These fees include honour fees, dishonour fees for bounced cheques, late payment fees for credit cards or loans and fees for overdrawing credit cards.

The first time when the exception fees were made public was when Reserve Bank of Australia's bank charged fees of $1.2 billion in the 2008 financial year. New Zealand's ANZ, National, Westpac, BNZ and ASB are owned by Australia.

IMF Australia's Hugh McLernon revealed that whether New Zealanders could join in the Australian lawsuit is still doubtful, but it would consider a separate suit in New Zealand.

McLernon said, "We are already funding cases in New Zealand. It would be a natural follow up to check and make sure the law is the same. It makes sense to look at other common-law countries".

New Zealand is incapable of taking class actions like the one in Australia, stated Chapman Tripp partner Matt Sumpter. In New Zealand, it depends upon the regulator the Commerce Commission, to take action if it believed there was a case, shared Sumpter.